CLPHA has met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and had conversations with congressional leaders to draw attention to a funding glitch that may occur under an appropriations continuing resolution (CR) when the all-but-certain CR to fund the government after September 30 occurs.
Congressional leadership in the House and Senate have in principle agreed to pass a short-term six-month funding bill for federal fiscal year 2013, which begins October 1. Most CRs continue funding levels for federal programs at the previous year’s level, in this case $3.962 billion for the public housing operating fund for fiscal year 2012. This level of funding for the operating fund is problematic since the FY12 funding bill included a directive to HUD to fill the gap between the operating fund allocated amount and subsidy eligibility by offsetting “excess reserves” from housing authorities “by no more than $750 million”. In other words, the $3.962 billion enacted level in FY12 reflects a $750 million shortfall. HUD and Congress agreed this offset was a one-time action. However, a CR that does not modify this action and funding level would carry over into FY13, particularly if the CR extends past the first quarter—after December 31—since housing authorities receive operating funds under a calendar year schedule.
To prevent this adverse action from occurring, CLPHA has advocated to policymakers that any CR extending past December 31 should include an increased funding adjustment, known as an “anomaly”, for the public housing operating fund. CLPHA has asked that the anomaly be funded at the Senate appropriations bill FY13 level ($4.591 billion), and certainly no less than the HUD request and House bill level ($4.524 billion). Without the anomaly, housing authorities will be faced with a proration level (based on eligibility) of approximately 21 percent for the first three months of calendar year 2013. With the anomaly, the proration level would be at about 90 to 91 percent, depending upon whether the Senate or House funding level is utilized.
CLPHA has been told by OMB and congressional policymakers that while no decision has yet been made on anomalies for the CR, our request has been noted and is under consideration.
CLPHA strongly advises our members to contact their members of Congress and the House and Senate Leadership to impress upon them the need for an Operating Fund anomaly in the CR. A straight CR without an anomaly will in effect mean underfunding the Operating Fund by over $750 million prorated. Since reserve funds were used in FY12, housing authorities will not have these funds available to address any further shortfall in FY13.
We will continue to advocate for, and monitor the anomaly request and will keep members informed.
For further information, please contact CLPHA Legislative Director Gerard Holder.